GUEST VIEWPOINT: Follow evidence wherever it may lead

Many people have asked “how is it possible that no one took seriously the reports of the young women assaulted by Dr. Nassar?” – the Michigan State University sports doctor. Or, how can a young person end their life?
Tragic events are hard to think about, so many of us choose not to.
The thought that a well-liked doctor could violated the trust of patients, their families, and the community seems beyond the realm of possible, but it did occur.
People avoid pain and this includes painful thoughts. One of the hardest things for people who been sexually molested was when they told someone and they were not believed.
Friends and families who were told report that it did not seem possible. They could not imagine that abuse could occur in such a horrible way, so they do not believe.
This disbelief extends to other areas.
The Clarkston community was shocked by the disclosure that the trusted and much respected school superintendent had an inappropriate relationship with a former student.
This relationship probably crossed the boundaries because the people involved never believed it was possible.
In the same way, many married people find themselves in extra-marital affairs, not because they were looking for one, but because they never thought it was possible.
The details of the death of a local 10th grader are scarce, but frequently when there is a suicide, there are warning signs. These warning signs often get missed because it is too hard to consider.
How can these events be prevented or stopped?
Consider, investigate, believe, and act. It is important that we are able to consider the possibility of a horrible truth.
We must investigate and look at the evidence. Then we must believe what to the evidence shows us to be true and take action. Ignorance is bliss until the pain of a reality strikes us with cruel vengeance.
Chandler E. Fleming, LMSW, is a counselor at Clarkston Lighthouse

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